District Court Dismisses Consumer Class Action Against Align Technology

On September 29, 2015, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati secured a dismissal of all claims with prejudice for Align Technology, maker of the Invisalign teeth aligning system, in a consumer class action alleging that the Invisalign aligners prescribed to the plaintiff did not cure a dental condition caused by her worn-down teeth, and asserting claims for false advertising, breach of warranty, and violations of California consumer protection laws. In dismissing all claims with prejudice, Judge Edward Davila of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held that the plaintiff's theory was not "logical" because she alleged "no specific allegations as to what information Align Technology conveyed to her that was false or misleading, and upon which she relied to purchase the Invisalign system," and "it is implausible to expect a plastic removable aligner specifically molded to one's teeth would treat a type of malocclusion consisting of worn down teeth surface."

As another basis for dismissal, the court held that because the Invisalign system is a medical device sold only on the prescription from a licensed dentist or doctor, the plaintiff's claims were barred by the "learned intermediary doctrine." Under this doctrine, a prescription product "manufacturer cannot be held liable if it has provided appropriate warnings and the doctor fails in his duty to transmit these warnings to the patient or if the patient relies on inaccurate information from others."

The Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati team representing Align Technology in the matter included partners Keith Eggleton, Rodney G. Strickland, Jr., and Tony Weibell, as well as associate Jasmine Owens.

For more information, please refer to the court's opinion.